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Courtesy photo Danielle Mannina, a ninth-grader at Poca High School, was a delegate to the Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Boston in June.

BOSTON — Danielle Mannina, a ninth-grader at Poca High School, was a delegate to the Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Boston in June.

The Congress is an honors-only program for high school students who want to become physicians or go into medical research fields, according to a news release. The purpose of this event is to honor, inspire, motivate and direct the top students in the country who aspire to be physicians or medical scientists, to stay true to their dream and after the event, to provide a path, plan and resources to help them reach their goal.

Mannina's nomination letter was signed by Dr. Mario Capecchi, winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine and the science director of the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists. Mannina was chosen to represent West Virginia based on her academic achievement, leadership potential and determination to serve humanity in the field of medicine.

During the three-day Congress, Mannina joined students from across the country to hear Nobel Laureates and National Medal of Science winners talk about leading medical research; gained advice from Ivy League and top medical school deans on what to expect in medical school; witnessed stories told by patients who are living medical miracles; was inspired by fellow teen medical science prodigies; and learned about cutting-edge advances and the future of medicine and medical technology.

"This is a critical time in America when we need more doctors and medical scientists who are even better prepared for a future that is changing exponentially," said Richard Rossi, executive director of the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists.

Mannina said she was truly inspired during the Congress and she hopes to become a National Merit Finalist and attend Harvard University in Boston.

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